STRATEGIC GOVERNANCE AND FINANCE STUDYNorth Dakota Regional Water Systems
Date: 2020 – 2021
Client: North Dakota Department of Water Resources
- Coordinated with Project Representatives from the Four Major Water Supply Projects
- Developed a Primer on Public-Private Partnerships
- Balanced International Legal Challenges Regarding the Governance of Inter-basin Water Supply Projects
Identifying Inequities in State Cost-Share and GovernanceAlmost 80 percent of North Dakotans are located within the service area of one of the State’s four major regional water systems.
These systems were developed at different times, and as a result, there are inherent inequities that have developed in regard to the project governance, authority, infrastructure ownership, responsibility, and the State cost-share framework.
Creative Funding and Financing of Water ProjectsIn addition to a restructuring of State cost share, the financial modeling recommendations included a review of financing options and of the potential for a public-private partnership as a potential implementation model to consider.
Other recommendations included the creation of a State EPA-WIFIA-like financing program that could offer affordable and flexible State-backed financing options for the local costs of each project.
This State financing program to benefit the local affordability would allow the State to reduce its cost share commitment to each project and maximize the resources it has available.
Cost-Effective Use of Limited State ResourcesThe State had revised its cost-share policy 17 times over the last six years with the State partnership on water supply projects accounting for as much as 75 percent, and as little as 35 percent for certain activities.
With $1.55 billion in needs over the next 10 years, it was critical to determine an equitable strategy to maximize the cost effectiveness of limited state resources.
AE2S developed a wide-ranging financial model with 11 identified variables that could be adjusted to determine the most efficient route to complete the four projects while maintaining affordability to both the State and to local users.